Best of 2012, Part One (Non-Fiction)

It’s time once again to take a look back through the year to see what I’ve read and what I’m recommending. As discussed in the video above, it’s been a fantastic year for reading, so much so that I’ve made two lists: Top 10 Non-Fiction and Top 10 Fiction. I’ve also made vlogs (the non-fiction is the one posted above; fiction is coming tomorrow) to talk a little bit about each of the books, and at the end of the video there’s an explanation of how you can enter your name to win a book. Lots of book-related fun for everyone!

I read and reviewed 86 books this year: 45 fiction and 41 non-fiction (I read a lot more non-fiction than I used to — a good broadening of my reading habits I think!). For interest’s sake, I also like to look at how many books by women and how many by men I read, because I used to have a huge bias in favour of female authors, but in that area, too, I’m broadening my tastes. This year 52 books were by women and 34 by men. The really impressive thing is not just that I had 20 books I loved so much I had to make two Top Ten lists, but that so many other books I read during the year could have also been on those lists. It was really a stellar year for reading, for me.

Here’s my final list, with links to the original reviews (further discussion in the video above):

#10 Drop Dead Healthy, A. J. Jacobs

#9 Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal, Jeanette Winterson

#8 Finding Me in France, Bobbi French

#7 Small Man in a Book, Rob Brydon

#6 Night of the Gun, David Carr

#5 Holy Ghost Girl, Donna M. Johnson

#4 Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo

#3 Back Story, David Mitchell

#2 Wild, Cheryl Strayed

#1 Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed

Be sure to watch the video above (sorry, it’s a bit on the long side; tomorrow’s will be shorter as I’m working on trying to make my reviews more succinct!) and see how you can enter to win a book. I’m giving away two from the non-fiction and two from the fiction list this year. I’ll be back tomorrow with my Top Ten Fiction!


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